May 31, 2012
Looks Like Rain - Jerry's solo
I don't go around looking for great versions of LLR, though I do know of a couple (this one and 9-21-82 really strike me). Coupla years ago I burned this first set to disc to listen to in the car. Not sure why, maybe someone recommended it? Anyway I'm listening to a pleasant first set then LLR comes on. It's well played and all, but when the solo hits I was just stunned. I rewound it and listened to that minute of the song dozens of times. It's just freaking incredible. The copy I was listening to was a SBD. Just listened to this because I was trying to find *that* LLR again - must have given away the CD I burned. Listening on speakers built into my computer I'm not sure the aud packs the same punch as far as this solo is concerned.
Even if you don't particularly care for LLR, get the sbd, play it very loud and listen to not just garcia's phrasing but the way the band coalesces behind him. 50 seconds of absolutely triumphant Garcia.
No rating because I haven't heard the whole show yet.
February 1, 2011
Real nice show, beautiful fullness of an AUD
The NFA is such a lazy, jammed-out, merrily casual excursion, it just drips with joyful summer seaside breeze. It's one of those many GD performances to which there really is no comparison, which they never played before and never played again. Really enjoyable, followed by a creative GDTRFB with some nice jerry-bobby interplay a la 4/24. The Half-Step and Cassidy are nice picks too.
The rest of the show isn't mind-blowing but it's pretty good and as AUDs go, this is a pretty damn good one.
November 17, 2010
Top quality 78, Top Tier LIG
Jer's voice is haggard here, but he manages just fine. ½ Step gets off to a nice thumpy start. Bobby seems a bit off early on but finds some nice color by the second verse. A very nice solo from Jer on the way to the Rio Grande. Cassidy is a standout version, be sure to catch the descending jam just before they break back into it. Killer version. Standard but solid versions of TLEO, L.L. Rain, Roses, Uncle>Big River. The energy on B.E. Women increases noticeably from the previous group of songs. The Big River was a good stepping stone for that..but then Let it Grow.
I'm sure you've read many reviews claiming hot LIGs on archive. I have read what seems like at least 100. And out of them, may 10% are actually anything more than average. I assure you this LIG is a must hear. It is huge, unique, and just plain nailed..oh and its not the only tune in this show I can say that about. One of the 10 best LIGs ever played without question. Sits comfortably with the likes of 6/28/74, 9/28/76, 1/11/78 and so on.
Cassidy and LIG are both fantastic and the rest of the set is standard but still very well played. This is one of the better first sets of 1978. Especially since on paper it looks like about half of the set ones out there.
The energy from the LIG carries over as the second set kicks off with Samson and Delilah. End of the first chorus you'll get it..the band is fired up and Bob is on fiiirrrreeee, this will come up later. In Samson, Bob is filling in the spaces will fluid colors alla playing 73-74. His broken chord placements seem to be resonating with Phil, Keith, and Jerry simultaneously. Check out the re-entry after the 3rd chorus. Jerry starts to wrench his strings in that way he did then his voice raises high and strong..which on this night was unexpected. But he gets there and it's booming. The jam in Samson reminds me of a churning river seen from above with fast moving schools of fish bouncing above the water almost to quickly to see. Above it seems powerful but calming, below, it's is raging with activity.
Normally I am not an advocate of second set ship of fools. In fact 9/10 I have to scratch my head on it. It's a gorgeous song, and does hold a place in my heart, but I'll be damned if that tune didn't kill the energy during countless shows btw 78-95. Well, here, Jer is pushing it with a special kind of edge only he can give. One of the more effective set II Ships.
Incredible first solo in this prophet from Jerry. Bob's guitar rings through the mix beautifully as well. Very spacey jam out of it, although bob and Jerry do engage in some notable back and forth with bob on slide, this going on around the 9-10 minute mark and then onward towards eyes. Just before the 12 minute mark Jer goes on an ascending run that leaves him high and it serves as a nice mellow floating peak before the madness to come. You can hear jer do something with the entry to eyes that is reminiscent of only a few offerings from 1976. He alters his scale slightly, with just one note. However it happens before most recognize it, it is very subtle unless you listen carefully. Where the version doesn't end until 14:00, Jer has actually dropped into eyes just before the 13 minute mark. Listen closely..if you don't hear it at first refer to the eyes from 7/17/76 for a more vivid representation. Now this eyes is one to hear!!! Bob and Jerry have been on a roll all night, and this is definitely the pinnacle. Phil bombs find a place too!!The solos are well balanced in the 73-74 style.. the first maintains a forward moving force while laying back with some mellow work from weir, never so mellow to fall behind the tier 8 speed pace of this eyes. The only real detractor is Jerry's voice, the second solo is much more aggressive from the outset and it builds, oh does it build, listen to it 3 or 4 times to catch it all. Bob is biiiiiiig in this, so don't get lost in Jerry and the speed. Then listen for the intro to the 3 chorus, what that is exactly I do not know, but I wish it happened every freaking time. This is one of the 78 shows, like a 4/12, 4/24, 7/8 that is moving forward with a lot of strength and doesn't fizzle on you. By the middle of 78 that was happening too often, but when they were able to push past it it really stood out. Some other great 78s that maintain the intensity at a high level include among others 1/31, 6/4(albeit sloppily), 9/2, 11/20, and 12/30(much much better musically than the new years show). If you dig the 78 sound you should get your head around each of these shows. Lucky for us this is the high quality AUD it is as it keeps the drums from sucking the life out of it. SBD drums just aren't worth the trouble, if you are taking the time to listen to drums, make it an AUD.
I will say that overall this one does fall short of those others dates due to the length of the drums. The 4/12 drums are as long, but include numerous others joining the fun, including Jer bear smacking a few drums and the like. Outside of that, the show is as impeccable as 78 gets.
Phil tears the intro to NFA to shreds, awesome stuff. Also the first GDTRFB of the year; notable is that GDTRFB had been booted from regular rotation after 1973, was played a number of times in 1974, then in 76- April of 1980 only appeared about 25 times. 78 was the last year that it held that old time mystic as it hadn't fallen completely out of rotation like it did in 79, and as such, was a special treat, but one that was to be expected. By 1980 the style of play had changed enough where it didn't hold it's own quite the same way..and I'd say, didn't again until 89 or 90. A lot of rambling there. The point was that this is the first performance of the tune in the last year of the tune existing still in its primitive strait forward folksy way. Oh yea, this NFA is excellent, it booms, listen to it, maybe the real highlight of the show.
The rest of the show is standard fan fare, fun nonetheless. The US Blues is off. This show is top notch for fun time listening. Please give it a shot.
if i could i would give it 3.5 stars...but minus the drums i could do 4.5, so 4 it is.
December 20, 2004
I know you audience goin miss me when I'm gone
I've loved this show since I first had the same muted audience recording on cassette, over twenty years ago. During the 77-78 runs, the Dead intro'd many different formats of NFA depending on the preceding tune. In '77 it was mostly St. Stephen. By the middle of the '78 tours, it was the second half of drums or space or Ollin Arageed. By the spring tour it was usually a toss up whether you'd hear IKO IKO or NFA, the opening notes and drum patch being very similar. Sometimes the two would actually blend into one, half IKO, half NFA. This happened at the Fox Theater, Atlanta, (4/11/78) and to some extent, here at Providence.
If the sound quality was better, this would be a standout. However, the lazy drawn out interplay between Jerry and Bob, alternating slide and E chord, (plus some choice cymbal work), makes this '78 NFA, just about my all time favorite.